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988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Debuts

Date: 09/01/22

On July 16, the United States launched the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Using 988, callers nationwide can reach compassionate, accessible support for mental health-related distress for themselves or loved ones. The new calling code connects to the existing national Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide crisis support for thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.

The 988 launch is part of a plan to strengthen and expand America’s existing network of crisis call centers. When a person calls 988, they are connected to a counselor from a network of over 200 local crisis centers. Because it uses one simple, 3-digit number, 988 makes it easier to get help when needed.

988 is confidential, free, and can be accessed through any type of phone – landline, cell, or VOIP. Live 988 voice services are available in both English and Spanish, plus over 250 other languages through Language Line. Text services (in English) are also available via 988.